Data Governance in Microsoft 365
Data Governance in Microsoft 365

In this course, we take a look at data governance in Microsoft 365 and what it's used for. We’ll take a look at retention labels and retention policies, covering what they are and what they do.

You'll also learn the different ways you can import data into Microsoft 365. Finally, we'll take a look at governance reports in Microsoft 365.

Learning Objectives

By the time you finish this course, you should have a good understanding of data governance in Microsoft 365.

Intended Audience

This course is intended for those who wish to learn about the basics of Data Governance in Microsoft 365.


To get the most out of this course, you should already have some basic experience with Microsoft 365.


Hello and welcome to data governance in Microsoft 365.

Data governance, also referred to as information governance, is used to manage the lifecycle of your organization’s content across the entire digital landscape, including not only Microsoft 365, but also different clouds, hybrid environments, and any data that is imported into Microsoft 365. 

Using trainable classifiers and automated retention streamlines this governance. Essentially, governance is about retaining the data that’s required for things like business requirements, regulatory requirements, and to meet legal requirements, while removing data that should not be kept. By retaining data you need, and removing data that you don’t, you reduce your attack surface and you minimize legal and compliance risks.

This is where retention policies come into play. Retention policies are used to ensure that you only retain data for as long as it’s need – but no longer. You can use organization-wide policies, and you can use label-driven policies to help govern your data. 

Organization-wide policies allow you to retain content for a specific amount of time or to permanently delete such content when the defined retention period expires. You can apply policies to locations that house your data, like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Teams.

Label-driven policies allow your end users to manually label their own content in order to classify it. However, they can also be auto-applied to content as well. Like with organization-wide policies, you can use label-driven policies to retain content or delete content, based on when it was created or when it was last modified. Retention can be based on when a piece of content was labeled or even on a specific event, like, for example, when an employee leaves the company. 

You can automatically apply retention labels to content that contains sensitive data or certain words or phrases. They can also be automatically applied to data that has certain metadata associated with it.


In the next lesson, we’ll talk about retention policies and retention labels in a bit more detail.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.